When the ground temperature hits approximately 64 degrees, one Giant Cicada and 30 billion of his giant cicada friends will crawl out from their burrows and descend upon Manhattan to do, in four to six weeks, what it takes humans 65+ years to do.
“I’m about to mate furiously all over…
As television increasingly integrates with our online persona, and platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it will become easier for us to see what our friends are watching, in real time, and what they like and don’t like. Many of our TV viewing choices will, therefore, be based on our friends’ viewing habits. While this may have always been the case, the situation is now being exacerbated beyond anything we have witnessed previously.
So, if I come home from work and can see that my two friends Scott and Dave are both watching the same comedy, I may choose, on that basis, to tune in to that program.
Thus, while ‘social proof’ has always been important in the success of a TV show, one can see how Social TV will take this to a new level.
Huffington Post Business
emergence is like a absent minded historian that sees little point in keeping the facts straight from day-to-day.
The problem with emergence, or rather, with trying to deal with emergence – whether in writing, speaking, or any other form of medium – is that it is by definition elusive. Something which is emergent at the time of writing/speaking, may be well-established or even irrelevant within a few days, weeks or months. There is no guarantee when it comes to emergence; it ebbs and flows, resisting categorisation or pigeonholing. That is what makes it so interesting and so worthwhile, but it is also what makes it so frustrating.
What can be said of emergence is that something must have a social value in order to be considered emergent. This value may change or even diminish, but it will never die completely. The very fact of classifying something as emergent makes it worthy of note. That is why it is important to speak and write about emergence even when the term itself is so problematic.
Phenomena that are emergent now – whether they be societal, technological, political, artistic or otherwise – may well be the first glimpse we have of our future. Because there are many things that emergence is not. It is not permanent, it is not fixed; it is not definitive or reductive. But if there is one thing it is, that is forward-looking.
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Einstein was very much a reductionist. He stated, “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.” Here is the reductionist’s mantra and elusive dream: to reduce everything to a few rules. But it is an elusive dream. We keep pushing to higher energies and get more comprehensive models: Newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, grand-unified models, string theory, whatever is beyond string theory, whatever is beyond whatever is beyond string theory, etc. There is no reason to believe the series will ever end, even if we have it correct up to some level (and string theory may or may not be the correct model, and yes string theory is, at best, just one more model in a string of models).
But even if we knew the rules, we would still need the strategy. Starting with string theory (or even the standard model of particle physics), derive the maximum temperature for superconducting material. For extra points construct the material. Nothing discovered with the LHC will help solve this problem.
Poincare, in contrast to Einstein, was not a reductionist: “We seek reality, but what is reality? The physiologists tell us that organisms are formed of cells; the chemists add that cells themselves are formed of atoms. Does this mean that these atoms or these cells constitute reality, or rather the sole reality? The way in which these cells are arranged and from which results the unity of the individual, is not it also a reality much more interesting than that of the isolated elements, and should a naturalist who had never studied the elephant except by means of the microscope think himself sufficiently acquainted with that animal?” Fortunately the blind men who studied the elephant could not use a microscope or they would have had a least one more model to dispute about.
Particle physicists tend to think the rules (reductionism) are more fundamental while condensed matter physicists and chemists think the strategy (emergence) is more fundamental. In both cases fundamental means: “I think what I am doing is way cooler than what you are doing.” And yes, scientists do think what they are doing is cool. If they thought what someone else was doing was cooler they would be doing that. But both reductionism and emergence are necessary for the advancement of science. Anyway I must now go and do some cool, oops! I mean, fundamental science.
Reductionism versus Emergence
Quantum Diaries (blog)
Katya Andresen is chief strategy officer of Network for Good, author of Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes and blogs at nonprofitmarketingblog.com. You can find her on Twitter @katyaN4G. So called “slacktivists” take easy, social actions in support of a cause …